Nice initiative from Facebook
Facebook launched its Academy program in 2012. It’s aimed at exposing high school students who belong to underprivileged or low-income backgrounds to the professional world for six weeks. Facebook’s program was part of the agreement the social network struck with Menlo Park when it set up its headquarters in the area. Facebook has almost doubled the number of students participating in the program since then.
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Among 90 students from more than 12 eligible schools in East Palo Alto, Redwood City, Menlo Park’s Belle Haven district and San Francisco, only 19 high school juniors got a chance to preview what it’s like to work at Facebook as a part of the annual paid summer internship program, which concluded on Wednesday. On the last day, the interns shared their experiences with their family and friends. They got a chance to work with various department at Facebook, such as marketing, information technology and facilities.
A lifetime experience for the students
Isabelle Valdes, a student from Carlmont High School, had a picture of the Facebook office occupied by engineers and coders. However, after successfully completing her six-week summer internship at the social network’s headquarters, she understood that there is much more to do besides coding or encoding in running a multi-billion-dollar firm.
“I didn’t know there were so many different facets to it,” said Isabelle, who was associated with the social media giant’s effort to diversify its workforce.
Susan Gonzales, Facebook’s community engagement director, said, “We believe not only is this program helpful to expose students to opportunities in their backyard but it is also helpful for their college applications and beyond.”
Mario De Anda, program director at the Foundation for a College Education, helps in running the program and said, “Having that knowledge is really important,” and the most important aim of this program is to give a preview of a professional environment to students at early age. De Anda wants to track the progress of the interns after high school to evaluate its effectiveness.